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-   -   Do you feel jealousy? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24561)

SilverZe 06-09-2012 06:35 AM

Do you feel jealousy?
I've always tried to explain to my best friend that I don't feel jealousy. I feel something I consider envy but it is different from jealousy.

To me:

Jealousy - wanting someone/something that someone else has and also not wanting that person to have it anymore

Envy- wanting someone/something that someone else has but not wanting them to have to give it up

I usually use the example of a car. If I see a really nice car, and I want it, I don't necessarily want the owner to not have that car, I just want one of my own. Envy not jealousy. They have something I want, I just think of how I can get that thing as well.

I really have a hard time understanding jealousy, especially jealousy over people because you can not own a person. Also I don't want to ever keep others from loving relationships. The closest thing I've felt to jealousy (as others have described it to me) is when someone I cared about was with a person that treated them badly, I felt like their partner did not deserve them and I wanted them to stop being with that person.

Most people do not believe me that I don't get jealous. Almost everyone I have told has said that I'm lying or that it is impossible.

I'm wondering if you all understand what I'm saying. Do any of you lack jealousy?

sweetcrusader 06-09-2012 12:35 PM

Here's how we use Jealousy / Envy

Envy - wanting what someone else has AND being very happy for them that they have it.

Jealousy - wanting what someone else has AND being angry/frustrated that they have it and I don't.

When I move from envious to jealous I have to be cautious because the next thing that seems to come up for me is feeling resentful.

My jealousy is more from a fear based location not that I want to own someone but that I'm afraid (thinking of relationships) that what he has is either better or will "water down" what we have together.

I believe that you don't feel jealousy and I'm envious of you for it :o

nycindie 06-09-2012 01:01 PM

Hi there. We have a ton of threads here on jealousy, the difference between jealousy and envy, whether someone is very jealous or not at all, and related topics - have you done a search? You may find the Master Thread on jealousy helpful and informative: Jealousy, Envy, Insecurity, etc. General Discussion You can also do a tag search for jealousy, envy, etc.

Tonberry 06-09-2012 09:32 PM

I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be the opposite (jealousy means you want something the other has, envy means on top of that you don't want them to have it anymore) which is why envy is the cardinal sin, not jealousy. At least I remember very distinctly being taught it that way in school.

Jealousy comes from feeling like something is taken away from you, or you have less than someone else.
Envy comes from wanting others to be miserable regardless of whether it will make you happier or not.

I have never heard of them being the other way around. Actually, just checking the definitions right now, I see for jealousy "fear that something or someone might be taken away from you" and for envy "to bear a grudge toward someone due to coveting what that person has or enjoys"

It seems to me envy is the "worse" and pettier one, personally. Jealousy is an inward feeling that makes you feel miserable for what you don't have, envy is an outward feeling that makes you hate someone for what they have.

EDIT: from a website that compares the two:


A person envies someone towards whom he has ill will because of that person's success, achievements, and the like. He envies something that belongs to someone else and to which he has no right or claim. He is jealous of intrusion onto something that belongs to him or upon which he maintains a claim.

An envious attitude is always negative. A jealous outlook is usually negative but it can be positive, depending on its object and inclination. For example, a man may be jealous when another man talks to his wife (negative); however, a free people must jealously guard their liberties if they want to keep them (positive).

ThatGirlInGray 06-09-2012 10:28 PM

Tonberry, what do you call that feeling of, "Oh, *fill in the blank* is so cool! It's so awesome you have that, I wish I did too!" then?

It's not negative, I bear them no ill-will for having something I don't have, I just wish I had it also. It can't be jealousy because I'm not worried about something I have being taken away from me. I've always considered that to be envy. I guess I use "envy" the same way sweet crusader seems to, with the knowledge that it COULD be a negative emotion if resentment developed from it.

To answer the original question, I rarely feel jealousy. Envy, as I define and understand it, definitely. I envy my husband first because he's employed and gets to regularly leave this house without kids in tow, and second because his employer takes him out to a nice lunch at least once a week. In the first case I need to be careful that my envy doesn't lead to resentment (although it's not as if I want him to be unemployed too, I just want a job!) but in the second case there's little danger of resentment.

Tonberry 06-10-2012 03:39 AM

I guess I call it wanting something? I don't think it's very relevant who else does or does not have it. If I want a job, I don't want a job more or less because my friend has one.

LotusesandRoses 06-10-2012 05:51 PM

Oh, then I experience jealousy, by that definition. Ever see a really incompetent doctor? Sparks my jealousy every single freakin' time. Should have gone to med school.

In relationships, I sometimes find myself thinking, "Maybe this isn't the best kind of relationship for my partner," when considering metamours. But, as long as they're practicing safe sex and not being abused or abusing, I don't really have traditional feelings of jealousy.

Arrowbound 06-10-2012 06:57 PM

Well, yeah. Flashes come up at times depending on who my SO is referring to, but they do pass. I have felt compersion before though, so that was nice.

nouryia 06-10-2012 08:50 PM

I wish I was completely secure and devoid of jealousy. But no, I'm not that lucky. I have, from time to time, felt it and struggled with it but I think I'm dealing with it well. I try to get at the source of why I feel it and work on myself to effect the changes required to become free of it. And I don't lash out at others for making me jealous...it's entirely MY issue to deal with.

And the same with envy, sometimes I do resent others for having when I have not. I get over it. I consider it part of being human and flawed. Maybe someday I'll be more...enlightened, but I'm not quite there yet :)

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